The Mozambican and British governments signed a memorandum of understanding in Maputo on Monday in the area of solar power and other renewable energies.
The memorandum was signed by the Mozambican Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Pedro Couto, and the British Minister of International Development, Nicholas Hurd, who is on a two day visit to Mozambique.
The purpose of the memorandum is to create a partnership between the two governments to promote a more active market in renewable energies and expand access to solar power in the more remote rural areas.
The memorandum, Couto said, “draws attention to the importance of this link in the national energy system, and of the great possibilities which are currently being opened with the technological advances in the area of renewable energies and solar power, which could allow us to produce these forms of energy at lower costs”.
Couto said Mozambique has an energy programme that covers all the various forms of electricity generation, both for domestic consumption and for export to other southern African countries. Solar power and other renewables were part of this mix.
The memorandum is part of the British government’s “Energy Africa” campaign which seeks to speed up universal access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa, through expanding the use of solar power. According to a British government press release, this will be achieved “through removing regulatory and political obstacles to expansion of the market, and better coordination of support from donors to the sector as a whole”.
Hurd is scheduled to discuss with Couto how Mozambique will be involved in “Energy Africa”, and will meet with market operators and other donors to discuss priorities for access to energy. No specific sum of money is mentioned in the memorandum.
Hurd said that Mozambican and British governments have been working together for many years “to improve access to education, water and sanitation and health care. But our vision is a future in which Mozambique can sustain itself with its own resources”.
Essential to this vision, he added, was economic development which depended on access to clean energy. “We think it important that Mozambique should make use of all its resources, including the sun”, he said.